How to stop a contagion – A Review
Word Count: 4300 30 minutes + 10 minutes discussion time
At a time of contagious disease, Christian Scientists endeavor to rise in consciousness to the true sense of the omnipotence of Life, Truth, and Love, and this great fact in Christian Science realized will stop a contagion. (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 116:2)
Simply put - contagion is animal magnetism.
And the contagion is not just about a belief in intelligent matter, but is an agreed upon ( common consent) belief in a power opposed to God.
Evan Mehlenbacher’s article on Animal Magnetism is excellent! Some of these ideas are shared here. What is animal magnetism? / Christian Science Sentinel
“The mild forms of animal magnetism are disappearing, and its aggressive features are coming to the front. ...As named in Christian Science, animal magnetism or hypnotism is the specific term for error, or mortal mind. It is the false belief that
- mind is in matter, (and then it splits up…)
- and is both evil and good; (and then it gets worse…)
- that evil is as real as good and more powerful.”
This next section is all about identifying those “ false human beliefs” of error and its operations. “A knowledge of error and of its operations must precede that understanding of Truth which destroys error, until the entire mortal, material error finally disappears, and the eternal verity, man created by and of Spirit, is understood and recognized as the true likeness of his Maker.” (Science and Health, p. 252:7)
- DISCUSSION + 10 minutes
1. It is the false belief that mind is in matter,
What might this look like?
It might look that matter controls us in some way, or that:
- Brain controls us
- Popular opinion controls us ( the aggressive claim of association)
- Another person’s temperament controls how our day will fare.
- Politics determine our well being - and our happiness is dependent on who agrees with us
- Food controls us (as in “I can’t help myself” or “I can’t eat this because it is so unhealthy/healthy.” or “If I eat this, I will have more energy.”)
- Germs control us and we should be afraid of germs and protect ourselves from germs because germs are a real threat
- Hormones, weather, and predictions based on material sense ( like “look out for high pollen counts today” or “Oh it is just that time of the month for her” ) control us
- The economy determines our well being and our prospects for good
- Our body talks to us and determines our behaviour and joy
- Time is an element, a mortal measurement and we feel that this disease or discord has gone on for a long time
What might this look like?
It might look like a pendulum of some sort; a type of yinyang where evil/dark has some of good/light and good/light has some of evil/dark. And as one increases the other decreases. This pendulum could look like:
- Emotional fluctuations - feeling good one day and bad the next. “The material physician gropes among phenomena, which fluctuate every instant under influences not embraced in his diagnosis, and so he may stumble and fall in the darkness.” (Science and Health, p. 463:1)
- Drugs that produce good and bad results; may help one aspect of a disease but causes a bad side effect.
- Pendulum swings going from good to evil and back again bring out a sense of superstition that suggests “If I am well today, I will be unwell tomorrow.”
- That good impacts evil - yes; but then the belief that evil impacts good - NO! “Truth cannot be reversed, but the reverse of error is true.” (Science and Health p. 442:17–18 truth)
- Fate –a belief that life is determined by a supernatural power of good and evil; the belief of the inevitability of evil or death.
What might this look like?
Some type of overwhelming sin/disease/death, like:
- Disease is more powerful than health
- Hate destroys love
- Someone else’s hate can cause another distress
- Depression - the opposite of which is Light, Love’s expression
- Depressed thinking is the belief that evil can depress and hinder good; yet, it cannot. The reverse of depression is expression
- Any subtle error that creeps is a belief that one is secretly harboring hidden sin that cannot be uprooted; or like the Impostor syndrome - a thought pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud"
- Lack deprives us of abundance (“every month I don’t have enough to cover my bills”)
All of these false beliefs argue for the lie that there is more than one creator. These beliefs have not ONE QUALITY OF TRUTH. “This belief that there is more than one mind is as pernicious to divine theology as are ancient mythology and pagan idolatry.” (Science and Health, p. 469:28–30) Mythology and idolatry are made up stories, fabrications of illusions having no substance.
- MORTAL MIND. Nothing claiming to be something, for Mind is immortal; mythology; error creating other errors;.... the opposite of Spirit, and therefore the opposite of God, or good; the belief that life has a beginning and therefore an end; ….; the belief that there can be more than one creator; idolatry; the subjective states of error; material senses; that which neither exists in Science nor can be recognized by the spiritual sense; sin; sickness; death. (Science and Health, p. 591:25)
- THIS IS COUNTERED BY THE LAW THAT SAYS: “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, “Love thy neighbor as thyself;” annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.(Science and Health, p. 340:23)
Important to remember: In our healing work, YOU ARE NOT FIGHTING MATTER.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:3–5)
We are casting down imaginations (mesmerism, hypnotism) and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. We are:
- Standing porter at the door of thought
- Exposing matter - root out that little sniper fire!
- Praying bigger and broader.
Let’s review the types of mesmerism and how they are reversed: “All mesmerism is of one of three kinds; namely, the ignorant, the fraudulent, or the malicious workings of error or mortal mind. Misc., p. 51:7–9)
- Ignorant - reversed by the all-knowing Mind
- Fraudulent/deceitful…”Honesty is spiritual power….. You uncover sin, not in order to injure, but in order to bless the corporeal man; and a right motive has its reward.” (Science and Health, p. 453:16–20)
- Malicious - hatred is a plague-spot that self-destructs; ( It is reversed by Love.) Love is enthroned No power can withstand divine Love. ... Truth makes man free. (Science and Health pp. 224:31 (only); 225:3)
To which we add:
- Associative - “Common consent is contagious; (SH 228: 28) Disease arises, like other mental conditions, from association. Since it is a law of mortal mind that certain diseases should be regarded as contagious, this law obtains credit through association, — calling up the fear that creates the image of disease and its consequent manifestation in the body. (Science and Health, p. 154:3);
- DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGNS are excellent examples of this. We stay alert knowing that “.... Truth, searching the heart, neutralizes and destroys error.” (Misc. p. 204:4)
In our healing work YOU ARE REJOICING in THE TRUTH - the living Christ, the practical Truth
It is so freeing and exhilarating to know that animal magnetism is NOTHING. The accuser - the nagging tug of a belief that we are not worthy, not well, or incapable; the the world is dangerous and unknown, that there is a permanent black cloud – Yep! THAT accuser - is NOT THERE!!! We continue to listen to our spiritual sense ( not to the material senses) to realize - make real to human consciousness - that God is good and we are His children with a rich inheritance of goodness, grace, and peace.
“No evidence before the material senses can close my eyes to the scientific proof that God, good, is supreme.” (Misc, p. 277:23–24)
GOOD and HEALTHY MATTER IS NOT THE PRIZE WE ARE AFTER!
What if the “material evidence before the material senses” is healthy matter? That too may close your eyes to the fact that God is supreme; the prize is knowing our origin is spiritual.
From Christian Healer: ‘According to Christian Science, she pointed out, a healthy physical body was no more acceptable to God as the reality of man’s being than a sick one, since man was God’s spiritual image and likeness.”
In this case, there was a danger that Christian Scientists might come to believe that physical health of itself was a sign of grace, i.e., that a well body was more acceptable to God than a sick one. Her statement, “The healthy sinner is the hardened sinner,” 17 was enough to shatter such an assumption.
Yet experience had shown her that some naturally robust Christian Scientists were strongly inclined toward a kind of health snobbery, believing themselves spiritually superior to other Christian Scientists (herself, for instance) who might labor at times under severe physical disabilities. 18
THE PRIZE IS KNOWING OUR ONENESS WITH GOD, with Truth, with Love, with Life. Healing reveals our innate harmony and oneness with God. It restores what has already been - our health, our wealth, our well-being, our tenderness, alertness, and insight. This is the living Christ. It is seen as harmony in all areas of our lives.
Review of how to heal
Healing prayer includes any to all of these elements. I'll list those five major elements and then include several quotes that expand on each one of these five ideas.
- remove fear ( from patient and self!)
- acknowledge, praise and understand God
- affirm our relationship to God - yield, lift and shift, build a strong defense
- handle animal magnetism by denying and reversing the lie and: replacing with Truth
- rejoice and trust Truth
1. REMOVE FEAR and build a strong defense
We are exempt from disease and danger (See SH 411: 28)
... God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. ...
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: ...
(I John 4:16 2nd God, 18 (to :))
Remove the leading error or governing fear of this lower so-called mind, and you remove the cause of all disease as well as the morbid or excited action of any organ. … The cause of all so-called disease is mental, a mortal fear, a mistaken belief or conviction of the necessity and power of ill-health; also a fear that Mind is helpless to defend the life of man and incompetent to control it. (SH, p. 377:20–23, 26–29)
Evil thoughts, lusts, and malicious purposes cannot go forth, like wandering pollen, from one human mind to another, finding unsuspected lodgment, if virtue and truth build a strong defence.(SH pp. 234)
… know the truth that makes free, and thus to be a law, not unto others, but to themselves. (Manual, p. 84:2)
2. KNOW GOD as Truth: Trust Truth to do its work: Truth neutralizes
Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies. Christian Science acts as an alterative, neutralizing error with Truth (SH p. 162:4)
This spiritual chemicalization is the upheaval produced when Truth is neutralizing error and impurities are passing off. (Pul, 5:30–2)
Thus Truth, searching the heart, neutralizes and destroys error. (Mis.p. 204:4)
The recuperative action of the system, when mentally sustained by Truth, goes on naturally. (Science and Health 447: 14-6)
Like a legislative bill that governs millions of mortals whom the legislators know not, the universal law of God has no knowledge of evil, and enters unconsciously the human heart and governs it. (Mis. 208:5)
Truth has a healing effect, even when not fully understood.(SH 152:8)
3. KNOW GOD and our relation to God
God is All-in-all. ….Within Himself is every embodiment of Life and Mind. (Unity of Good,, pp. 3:20)
As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being. The Scripture reads: “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.”
(Science and Health, p. 361:16)
Question. — What are body and Soul?
Answer. — Identity is the reflection of Spirit, the reflection in multifarious forms of the living Principle, Love. (Science and Health, p. 477:19)
Man is eternal and indestructible. ( Science and Health 402:12)
Man is not a material habitation for Soul; he is himself spiritual.. (Science and Health p. 477)
YIELD to GOD
To admit to be true, to concede, to allow; To permit, to grant, as to yield passage TO resign, surrender or relinquish
Humility is mandatory for yielding is a deli- berate resignation to God’s will.
This body is put off only as the mortal, erring mind yields to God, immortal Mind, and man is found in His image. (SH p. 187:32)
The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love. Christian perfection is won on no other basis. (SH p. 201:17)
When “the Word” is “made flesh” among mortals, the Truth of Life is rendered practical on the body. Eternal Life is partially understood; and sickness, sin, and death yield to holiness, health, and Life, — that is, to God. (Unity, p. 39:1–5)
Mortals are not like immortals, created in God's own image; but infinite Spirit being all, mortal consciousness will at last yield to the scientific fact and disappear, and the real sense of being, perfect and forever intact, will appear. .(SH p. 295:11)
So what happens in healing?
LIFT and SHIFT
Thought shifts to a right understanding of God
The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind. (SH p. 162:)
It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony. (Science and Health, p. 390:7–9)
4. HANDLE ANI MAG: Control thought (you do need to step up!)
If we follow the command of our Master, “Take no thought for your life,” …we shall be masters of the body, dictate its terms, and form and control it with Truth. (SH p. 228:20)
Wrong is thought before it is acted; you must control it in the first instance, or it will control you in the second. To overcome all wrong, it must become unreal to us: and it is good to know that wrong has no divine authority; therefore man is its master. (‘01, p. 14:23)
Sin and disease must be thought before they can be manifested. You must control evil thoughts in the first instance, or they will control you in the second. ...Evil thoughts and aims reach no farther and do no more harm than one's belief permits..(SH pp. 234:25–27, 31–3)
HANDLE ANI MAG:
Know the relation of physical body and mortal mind
The elements and functions of the physical body and of the physical world will change as mortal mind changes its beliefs. (SH 124:32–2)
Mortal mind and body are one. Neither exists without the other, and both must be destroyed by immortal Mind. Matter, or body, is but a false concept of mortal mind. This so-called mind builds its own superstructure, of which the material body is the grosser portion; but from first to last, the body is a sensuous, human concept.(SH p. 177:8)
HANDLE ANI MAG: Deny the lie of mortal mind
To arrive at this point of unity of Spirit, God, one must commence by turning away from material gods; denying material so-called laws and material sensation, — or mind in matter, in its varied forms of pleasure and pain. This must be done with the understanding that matter has no sense; thus it is that consciousness silences the mortal claim to life, substance, or mind in matter, with the words of Jesus: “When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own.” (John viii. 44.) (Misc. p. 198:4)
HANDLE ANI MAG: Reversing the false testimony
“... truth cannot be reversed, but the reverse of error is true.”(Science and Health, p. 442:17–18 truth)
“Science reverses the false testimony of the physical senses, and by this reversal mortals arrive at the fundamental facts of being. ….. Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind”(Science and Health, p. 120:7–15 (to ;))
The highest and sweetest rest, even from a human standpoint, is in holy work…..Unfathomable Mind is expressed. The depth, breadth, height, might, majesty, and glory of infinite Love fill all space. That is enough! (SH pp. 519:28–5 (to !))
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All. (SH p. 17:12)
GROUP EXERCISE: Working with the Lord’s Prayer in healing the world
The Lord’s Prayer unites us with all Christian denominations.
“All Christian churches have one bond of unity, one nucleus or point of convergence, one prayer, — the Lord's Prayer. It is matter for rejoicing that we unite in love, and in this sacred petition with every praying assembly on earth, — “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
(Pulpit and Press, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 22:3)
Interesting to read of other denomination’s interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer and how MBE’s interpretation has been picked up.
I’ll read from articles “How to teach the Lord’s Prayer in daily life by livinghour.org ( a progressive Christian website) and Nathan Schneider, in his article “Have Catholics been praying the Our Father all wrong?” (May 2022), examines the ways in which believers of all stripes—Catholics, Protestants, Christian Scientists and even deists—have re-examined and reinterpreted the language of the Lord’s Prayer for devotional purposes.
Nathan Schneider starts out his thorough and thoroughly delightful article published in America Magazine (a monthly Jesuit magazine started in 1909) and written by Nathan Schneider ( a favorite of Catholic liberal intellectuals) and written on April 21, 2022
“Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious, Adorable One.
According to Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, so begins the prayer that Jesus taught us. Not only was Ms. Eddy’s use of “Father-Mother” well ahead of 19th-century gender politics, but, well, what can one say about “Adorable”? It is adorable. It gives me new affection for the First Church of Christ, Scientist half a block from where my family goes to Mass.
The practice in which Ms. Eddy was participating here was not unique to her, nor to those similarly outside the fold of Christian orthodoxy. Rewriting the Our Father, it turns out, is an ancient devotion, practiced by the likes of Teresa of Ávila, Francis de Sales and numerous luminaries of the early church.
Benjamin Franklin composed a version of the prayer for himself, and the 20th-century inventor and architect Buckminster Fuller elaborated on the Our Father in over 700 words like these:
You, Dear God,
are the totally loving intellect
With respect to the kingdom coming, Fuller continues:
and all occurs
in optimum efficiency.
Verses like these represent a lineage and a genre, a longstanding urge. At the outset of the book The Lord’s Prayer, an excellent history on the subject, the Anglican bishop Kenneth W. Stevenson stresses that the prayer, “so far from being fixed in stone, is a living text.”
For Tertullian, ( known as the father of Latin theology, as he was the first church leader to write his works in Latin) writes that the prayer signifies the new opening to God that becomes possible for believers in Christ. God is remote no longer. Mary Baker Eddy’s word “adorable”—even in its modern, colloquial sense, which is surely more informal than she meant it—seems right. " (end of article) ###
Countless others have found ways to make this a LIVING prayer.
For instance the very first line: OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN
Comments from the article above include these:
- “Neil Douglas-Klotz has written books on how very different Aramaic is from the Greek that is used in the New Testament text, from which our English translations are made. For example, The Lord’s prayer begins with “Our Father,” a translation of the word abba. But the actual Aramaic transliteration is Abwoon which is a blending of abba (“father”) and woon (“womb”)—Jesus’ recognition of the masculine and feminine source of creation. –Comment by Sally Forth”
- “Several years ago, my wife and I attended a Mass at St. Francis on the White Mountain Apache reservation. It was there that I was first introduced to the idea of making the Our Father a personal communication. Instead of the Our Father, the priest began with the Apache word for “Our Father-Mother,” and so on. His sensitivity to the Apache congregation guided the way he helped them to pray in a way that was meaningful to them. I took that as permission to do the same. - comment by Ray Miller” –https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2022/05/19/our-father-translation-243011#
Let’s take some time to make this living prayer our own again and thus, fulfill to a degree our duty to mankind and pray for all mankind to know the love and freedom of Truth; that all nations know that God is an ever-present Father-Mother, an unfailing Physician, and a perfect Judge.
Jesus’ instructions as to how to pray blend with his summary of the greatest commandments - to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. This LOVE permeates everything about Christian Science and its Discoverer.
Abigail Dyer Thompson - an early worker - wrote that Mary Baker Eddy said: “I saw the love of God encircling the universe and man, filling all space, and that divine Love so permeated my own consciousness that I loved with Christlike compassion everything I saw. This realization of divine Love called into expression ‘the beauty of holiness, the perfection of being’ (Science and Health, p. 253), which healed and regenerated and saved all who turned to me for help.”
And this lovely idea shared by friends: "Take the world in your arms each morning and tell it to not be afraid.” Let’s do that now. And if we can focus our efforts to counter the contagious belief of Covid with the permanence and purity of health and peace.
So let’s get to work on the prayer based on omnipotent Life, Truth and Love. This, too, can stop a contagion. Each individual takes one line and fills in the blanks - seeing what each line affirms and what it counters.
After ten minutes or so, everyone shares their inspiration: Here’s a breakdown of this living prayer - The Lord’s Prayer - that covers all human needs by affirming the truth which counters the mortal narrative and “instantaneously heals the sick.” ( SH p. 17).
The Lord’s Prayer
and its spiritual interpretation
Eddy’s original take on The Lord’s Prayer
in the First Edition 1875
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious,
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Harmonious and eternal Principle of man,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Hallowed be thy name;
Nameless and adorable Intelligence,
Thy kingdom come.
Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Enable us to know, — as in heaven, so on earth, — God is omnipotent, supreme.
Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.
Control the discords of matter with the harmony of Spirit.
Give us this day our daily bread;
Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;
Give us this day our daily bread,
Give us the understanding of God
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And Love is reflected in love;
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,
And Truth will destroy sickness, sin, and death, as it destroys the belief of intelligent matter,
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
And lead man into Soul, and deliver him from personal sense,
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.
For God is Truth, Life, and Love forever
### end of paper ###